What does your role as Group Operations Director involve?
As Group Operations Director, I oversee the day-to-day management of all sites across No Ordinary Hospitality, which features a growing variety of brands – including everything from the newly-reopened St Mary’s Guildhall through to Coombe Abbey Hotel.
It is a fantastic role and I am involved in so many exciting aspects of a growing business, such as sourcing and investigating commercial opportunities, helping our brands achieve their potential – and along the way, I get to work with so many great members of staff.
The growth of the business has seen my role evolve and fundamentally it’s about building the best team possible to deliver the kind of service and standards that we want No Ordinary Hospitality Management to be known for.
Like so many people who have moved into this sector, I love the fact that no two days are the same. I’ve worked in the industry for 35 years and have done just about every job there is, so I understand what staff are working through on a day-to-day-basis.
That is key in this industry but never more so than in the last couple of years when there have been so many challenges to face.
There are many pressures on people at the moment and we have worked really hard to retain employees and also bring in team members. We have grown dramatically since Covid and are now up to a headcount of 421.
In order to encourage and invest in our growing team, we are now working with Kirkland Training, a highly-respected training company in the hospitality sector, to help develop and upskill the team.
It’s important to us that each of our employees feels part of the family and is involved in the direction of the business because they are the biggest ambassadors for the No Ordinary brand and growing this brand is a key part of my role.
For example, I’m always looking for ways to invest or work in partnership with independent hotel owners and entrepreneurs who may be looking for a company to come in and manage or support their business – across the No Ordinary team we have expertise in all things from operations management to HR and sales and marketing.
We have a great deal to offer businesses and can help a whole range of firms in the hospitality sector realise their commercial potential.
I have to assess the right time for growth and development, especially at our flagship site, Coombe Abbey which has seen us add more rooms and more services with millions of pounds worth of investment, and that is set to continue in 2023.
What experience have you gained in other roles that has stood you in good stead for your role within No Ordinary Hospitality Management?
I started as a waiter doing part-time bar work, and every position since has helped shape my attitude and approach in my current role.
Hopefully (you probably need to ask colleagues!) it has allowed me to understand what staff want out of their work and what they would like to see from those in management positions. It certainly helps to see things from their perspective and be receptive to ideas. I’m a big believer in listening and implementing ideas from the team because it means we can do things better.
I’ve been a General Manager, Regional General Manager and Operations Director across a range of businesses, from small luxury hotel groups through to individual, award-winning hotels that have extensive conference and banqueting facilities. It means I’ve seen pretty much all there is to see in hospitality management.
I can call on all these experiences – all of the dos and don’ts that one builds-up over a long period of time in the sector – to ensure we make the best decisions for the business as we look to grow.
What does the future hold for No Ordinary Hospitality Management?
This is such an exciting time for the business and the plan is very much on continued growth.
The brand is starting to become more and more visible – through our offering at Coombe Abbey, Coventry War Memorial Park and in our partnership with the IXL Events Centre, and we can see opportunities for expansion across a wider geography.
Our Managing Director, Richard Harrison and I have taken great pride in establishing No Ordinary Hospitality Management’s reputation as an employer of choice, and we want to continue in this vein by rewarding colleagues for their work and ensuring we continue to offer employment that works for us and for our staff.
We want everyone – customers, clients and colleagues – to have the best experience in their dealings with NOHM.
We are a dynamic, growing business with a motivated, talented workforce – what’s not to enjoy?